I have absolutely loved this recent spell of hot weather. It makes me feel energised and motivated to get outside and bask in the sunshine. I have dug out my floaty dresses, gone for walks, enjoyed icecreams, been for picnics and dangled my legs in a paddling pool. It would however be terribly un-British of me if I didn’t have a slight complaint about this weather though. It is so difficult to sleep!
Last night I was wrenched from my sleep by flashes of lightening and rumbles of thunder. Once the storm has passed I finally fell back into a fitful sleep. I then woke this morning to a recurring dream which always leaves me feeling unsettled. After the initial thought of “thank god that was a dream”, I am aware my unconscious mind is trying to tell something.
Dreaming is a normal part of human existence and takes place when we are in REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep. In REM sleep the mind is as active as it is during waking hours but chemically it is different. A person will have several dreams in one night although most people only remember dreams which occur closer to the time they wake.
Dream interpretations date back to 3000 B.C. where they were documented on clay tablets. For as long as we have been able to talk, people have been fascinated by dreams and their meaning.
· The Romans believed dreams were messages from the gods or the dead, with a forewarning or prediction of the future.
· Aristotle thought dreams derived from our physiological state, diagnosing illness and predicting the onset of disease.
· The Egyptians recorded their dreams in hieroglyphics. People who experienced vivid and significant dreams were believed to be blessed and special.
· Some Native American tribes believe their ancestors live in their dreams, making contact with the living in dreams to point them in the right direction.
It was Freud who in the 19th Century revolutionised the study of dreams with his work “The Interpretation of Dreams”. He believed them to be the “Via Regia”, the royal road to the unconscious.
Freud considered the father of Psychoanalysis, believed nothing you do occurs by chance. Every action and thought is motivated by the unconscious. In order to live in a civilised society governed by rules, moral and values, we as humans have to repress our urges and impulses. However these repressed urges have to go somewhere, often presenting themselves in disguised forms, such as dreams.
Many counsellors work with clients on their dreams, which can provide a powerful window into their thoughts, feelings and experiences which have been repressed. By examining your dreams in therapy, it can help you tap into unexpressed emotions and shed light on issues which have been pushed to the back of your conscious mind.
Not all dreams need to be interpreted and some may not hold much significance e.g. full of “day residue”. However some dreams can provide vital clues to the inner workings of our minds and can be helpful to take to counselling.
If you are interested in exploring dreams or any other material please feel free to contact me at Gemma Antcliffe Counselling. You can message me via my website www.gemmaantcliffe-counselling or get in touch by phone or email.